Summarizing IRCC’s efforts to modernize immigration to Canada

IRCC recently declared its plans for the update of application management systems to help with processing times and client communication.

IRCC (Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada) introduced with these IRCC Digital Modernization slides to immigration officials inclusive of the Canadian Bar Association’s immigration law section in a meeting on October 12, 2022.

Why Canada has prioritized improving its immigration systems

Canada is an immigrant-friendly country and it continuously works towards updating its immigration policies so that more immigrants aspires to come to Canada. Canada has recognized that it is a crucial time for them to change the application management system for Canada’s immigration programs to boost their economy and labour market, as immigration plays a vital role in their economic growth. In a press release in January 2022, Canadian Immigration Minister Sean Fraser said:

“I know that processing delays have been incredibly frustrating for many individuals. Helping clients come to Canada quickly, with predictable processing times and efficient communication with IRCC, remains a top priority. Immigration benefits all Canadians—it helps grow our economy and strengthens our communities across the country. Many people are choosing Canada as the place to visit and build their future, and to ensure that we stay competitive, we have introduced concrete measures to make sure those who want to come to Canada have the client experience they deserve.”

The steps IRCC is taking to modernize immigration to Canada

Consequently, the following steps are being taken by Canada to switch the application management systems throughout the immigration system of Canada to meet the country’s objectives related to the improved processing times and  morre effective communication for clients.

1. Financial Investment

  •  $85 million dollars was proposed by Canada in the new funding to lower application inventories, in the Economic and Fiscal Update 2021.
  • $428.9 million was invested by Canda for over 5 years, with $398.5 million in remaining amount “to grow and provide an enterprise-wide digital platform that will progressively replace the IRCC’s legacy GCMS (Global Case Management System)”

2. Expanding Use of Advanced Data Analytics

  • So far, with the help of data analytics with reference to visitor visa has shown that the routines files can be evaluated 87% faster.

3. Allowing more applicants to use digital Application portal

  • So far, particular to spousal sponsorship candidates, the application processing time has returned to the service standard time of 12 months for the new candidates.
  • In September 2022, IRCC started to shift to 100% digital applications for permanent residence, with other faormat still accessible for individuals who need settlement.

4. Introduction of the Permanent Residence Application Tracker

5. Online system for receipt of permanent residency cards

  • Between June and December 2021, this portal is already used by 225,000 permanent residents.

6. Developments for citizenship applicants

These development consists of:

  • Online testing
  • An online application tracker/submission system
  • Virtual citizenship ceremonies
  • Permitting the interested candidates to self-manage their oath by signed attestation and acknowldege their citizenship later.

7. Updating existing procedures

IRCC is working to:

  • Upgrad the online processing times tool and start publishing progressive approximates of application processing times.
  • Make specific candidates exempted from needing a medical examaination for Canada immigration.
  • Hold more video and telephone interviews for some specific programs inclusive of growing the availableness of virtual interviews at our foreign offices and even some specific visa application centres.


With the first phase that started in December 2020, IRCC has prepared the following three-phase timeline for the  complete execution of its digital program modernization plan:

Phase 1: Stabilize (December 2020 to November 2021)

  • Focus: “Stabilizing the GCMS till a new plan can be carried in phase three”.

Phase 2: Standardize (December 2021 to March 2023)

  • Focus: ” Demonstrating foundational cloud elements to support that will get delivered in phase three.

Phase 3: Upgrad (April 2023 to December 2026)

  • Focus: Provide a new digital operating platform and allow activities to ensure (IRCC) is ‘digital ready’.

Expected Outcomes

In general, all the above mentioned measure will help in reduction of application processing times and offer more well-organized two-way communication ability for clients.

The following are more particular anticipated results and benefits that candidates will avail thanks to the advancement Canada is continously working to make.

  • More flexibility with application interviews/ processing.
  • Better application processing and support.
  • Offer better estimation of expected application processing times.
  • Lesser waiting time.
  • It permits the hiring of additional application processing staff
  • It helps the officers to sort out and process the visitor visa applications that are submiited from outside Canada.
  • Support IRCC manage the growing number of applications.
  • Minimize the delay of COVID-19 realted delays connected with processing paper applications.
  • Offer clients with the immediate update or confirmation of their successful submission of application.
  • Offer easy approach to application information and status updates online.
  • Help the candidates in saving both their money and time on the medical examination process.
  • Permitting candidates in planning their immigration journey through improved anticipation.